What a week in MLS. Atlanta United blew a 2-0 lead, Jakob Glesnes scored from distance, Houston and LAFC tied 1-1, Matt Turner made some incredible saves, the Galaxy couldn’t beat Seattle, D.C. United beat Inter Miami and Q2 Stadium opened up. Yes, it was truly a week unlike any other.
Be sure to listen to Matt Doyle, Andrew Wiebe and an assortment of guests discussing 11 am ET on Twitter Spaces. Listen to them analyze this week's top 10 below.
MLS Power Rankings: Week 8 (Top 10 Analysis)
Disclaimer: The Power Rankings are voted on by the entirety of the MLSsoccer.com editorial staff. The rankings are not created by me. I did not personally do this. You should probably be lightly made fun of if, weeks into doing this, you still think the actual rankings are made by just one person. Unless it’s your team specifically that you’re mad about. I did that on purpose. But mostly I just wrote some blurbs. Be mad at me for those.
None of this is my fault. Kind of. I technically did have a vote. Either way, you should really recognize that the stakes have never been lower.
Raul Ruidiaz did not get selected by Peru’s national team for Copa America. Raul Ruidiaz scored this week. Seems pretty bad for everyone who is not Seattle that Raul Ruidiaz did not get selected by Peru’s national team for Copa America.
Godspeed out there everyone who is not Seattle.
They’re just one point off of Seattle for the Supporters' Shield lead. They’re clearly the best team in the East right now. Matt Turner is clearly the best keeper in the league and showed it against NYCFC. Things are going just fine in Foxboro.
Jakob Glesnes once again proved that he’ll shoot from anywhere and probably make it too. He’s like ... the anti-Ben Simmons.
Jakob Glesnes scores another incredible golazo to rescue Philadelphia
One last dos-a-cero seems about right for Columbus. Thank you for everything, Historic Crew Stadium.
A lot of the narrative surrounding their win over Toronto focused on what’s wrong with Chris Armas' team rather than what’s right with Orlando. They should take it as a compliment. They’re a good team that we expect good things from at this point. They get a boost, though, as Silvester van der Water continues to look like a solid signing on the wing and ... wait, seriously? It appears Daryl Dike is back. And that Daryl Dike being put into a team doing just fine without him is something that’s legal. Seems unfair. Maybe it will just be a short visit?
They gave New England all that they could handle and new signing Thiago Andrade scored, but they just didn’t have enough to get by the Revs. More importantly, they didn’t have enough to get by Matt Turner.
Everyone can see this team is playing well, but they’ve only earned one win in their last five games. They have a chance to get back on track midweek against Atlanta.
Sporting ran into the dreaded “optimism game” against Portland. Fans returned in almost full force to Providence Park, plus there was an added boost from Diego Chara and Sebastian Blanco’s return. SKC really had no chance this week. It happens. Nothing to worry about on the field. In my opinion, they’re still the second-best team in the West and a top-five team in the league.
Ask me again in a couple of weeks, though, if Gianluca Busio is on his way to Europe...
Portland welcomed back the full Timbers Army. Then, Sebastian Blanco and Diego Chara returned in a 2-1 win over one of the league’s best teams. For a team decimated by injuries so far this year, a little bit of optimism seemed well-deserved.
Hey ... sooooo ... Colorado are one of three MLS teams averaging two points per game or better. They have the second-highest goal differential in the league. They started out the year as “dark horse” MLS Cup contenders and are now dangerously close to moving from dark horse to “team so constantly talked about as underrated they actually become overrated.” It’s a true honor. For now, everyone involved should just enjoy it and everyone else in the West should be wary of games against the Rapids. Even if the underlying numbers don’t necessarily back them up quite yet. So far, they’re middle of the pack when it comes to expected goal differential.
OH. And also they’ve only played one team in a playoff spot so far and it’s Houston, who are currently in seventh. That should probably be noted, too. But hey, remember, everyone just needs to enjoy this.
LA are a good team that just doesn’t have the top-end gear right now to compete with a team like Seattle. That just seems to be the reality right now. Everyone should be ecstatic about that considering where they were in 2020, but it’s going to take some work before they keep up with the elite teams in the league consistently. Most of that work needs to happen defensively. They’re fourth-worst in the league when it comes to expected goals allowed.
RSL waited around until stoppage time to get it done, but they picked up their first win since May 1. It’s a needed confidence boost at a good time. The Sounders are up next on Wednesday.
LAFC put up 2.4 expected goals compared to Houston’s 0.2. They still only got a point. As Matt Doyle put in his Sunday column, it just seems at times like something is just ... off with this team. Could be bad luck, could be chemistry, could be all of those things combined, or none of them. But it’s clear that they aren’t just going to flip a switch and turn into a behemoth again anytime soon.*
*Check back next week when they’ve won two games and are suddenly back at the top of the Power Rankings.
Now that Nashville aren’t undefeated anymore, I can finally dish out some honest criticism: Even when they were undefeated, they weren’t playing well. It’s remarkable they stayed out of the loss column for so long and while they deserve credit for that, there are problems with this group that weren’t there at the end of the 2020 season. Mainly, opposing teams are finding that scoring requires a little less compared to the extra effort it took against last year’s group.
Nashville hoped they’d build on the performance of last year’s team. However, they’re getting similar results in less impressive ways. It’s been a weirdly disappointing start.
Someone not all that bright once said “2-0 is the most dangerous lead in soccer.” They were wrong then and have always been wrong. It’s a nonsense statement that makes no sense. A one-goal lead of any kind is clearly far more dangerous.
Because when you’re only up one goal it gives a chance for someone like Jakob Glesnes to score a Goal of the Year candidate and have it actually matter. Atlanta should really figure out how to keep teams from only being one goal down after Atlanta goes two goals up. Seems like it wouldn’t be that hard, but it’s happened two games in a row now.
They took a point from LAFC for the second time this season. This time on the road. Houston remain pretty good. They’re seventh in the West right now and it kind of feels like they can be there at the end of the season, too.
Don’t look now, but D.C. United are 11th in the overall standings. They may have Inter Miami to thank for six of those points, but this is progress. Now they just need to get this team healthy and see if they can continue to make a push.
CF Montréal took the week off. They wanted to get a chance to work on their novel. They did not work on their novel.
Previous: Bye | Next: vs. DC on 6/23
The Loons picked up a point against Dallas in a game that was honestly kind of a bummer between what were somehow the 12th and 13th-place teams in the West. With the point, Minnesota have moved all the way up to 11th in the West. Quiet yay?
The Quakes got put in front of the world and you honestly couldn't have hand-selected a better team to deliver the most entertaining game possible in Austin’s home opener. Somehow, the Quakes of all teams came out with a 0-0 draw. I’m both mad and disappointed.
That’s a gorgeous stadium. A gorgeous tifo. And a gorgeous suit.
More home games and an easier schedule are on the way. Austin will have to learn how to capitalize on them. Which basically means that at some point they’re going to have to figure out how to score. Only Chicago have scored fewer goals than Austin’s six.
Dallas have a long way to go.
sJust going to pull from The Daily Kickoff, MLSsoccer.com’s incredibly good and well-written daily newsletter that you can subscribe to here.
Toronto wasted no time going down 2-0 to Orlando City on Saturday night. I guess the strangely positive take is that the Toronto of weeks past wouldn't have come back from 2-0 down so quickly?
Alejandro Pozuelo returned to the starting XI and, frankly, that XI looks pretty scary with him in it and even with Yeferson Soteldo out of it. Soteldo should be back from a muscle injury in a few weeks and then who knows, maybe Toronto can continue their journey toward being one of the most talented teams ever to miss the playoffs? Or maybe, just maybe they’ll be talented enough to overcome all the issues they’re dealing with? Or maybe they’ll just figure it all out?
No matter what, it’s kind of hard to reckon with just how many questions this team is facing right now. They have one win, two draws and five (!) losses this season. Only two teams have fewer points.
In the Landlords vs. Renters battle at Rio Tinto Stadium, it really seemed like the Renters would get a result. Then two late goals sent them to their fourth straight loss. Sigh.
Technically not the team in Florida with the fewest amount of points!
Going into the final game at Historic Crew Stadium, it always felt like Columbus were favored to beat Chicago. The Fire then proceeded to lose 2-0 and land none of their 15 shots on target. Not great!
With a draw on Wednesday, they could be tied on points and games with Toronto. In fact, Cincinnati could rise out of the basement this week. They face Chicago on Wednesday and then Toronto on Saturday. The stars have never been more aligned and the stakes have never been higher. This is the biggest story in MLS and no one is talking about it.